Enermax Ostrog ADV Case to be Unveiled at Pax East

Enermax might not be the most recognizable hardware manufacturer in western territories but they’ve quickly assembled a huge product line including power supplies, chassis fans, liquid coolers and affordable cases. Many of these products have received positive reviews and the company has continued to expand their current offerings. Curing CES this year, Enermax unveiled the Ostrog ADV chassis sporting a visually stunning illuminated design with 262 LED diodes. The chassis also comes with two synchronized Enermax T.B Vegas fans in the front section featuring six unique LED lighting transitions. As you can imagine, this creates a really distinctive appearance and I’m interested to see how well it works with other components.

In terms of features, the Ostrog ADV has a quick release mechanism for the top and front panel as well as screwless 5.25″ bay kits. The chassis supports up to 280mm radiators and should offer pretty decent flexibility. Next up is the front panel which contains a fan controller, LED display mode selection, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and HD audio connectivity. The Ostrog ADV case is currently scheduled to be shown off during Pax East and should be available for sale sometime soon. Unfortunately, there’s no word regarding the price but I’m guessing it will remain relatively affordable given the company’s current target market. Of course, when samples are provided to the press, we will be giving you our detailed thoughts.

If you’d like to see more information on this particular product, Enermax has a brief video showcases the case’s main selling points.

Image courtesy of realhardtechx

Lexar 512GB Portable SSD D512 USB 3.0 Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


Today we are taking a closer look at fast external storage, more specifically Lexar’s newest portable SSD called the D512. Lexar also offers the drive in a smaller D256 version with 256GB capacity, but I have the pleasure to have to big 512GB model on the test bench today.

Right away we see that we have a small and compact drive which is perfect for a portable unit. On top of that, it is also a very light drive that you barely will notice when you have it packed next to the rest of your items. So we have a strong portable drive right of the start, but what about the performance. Performance has to match and that’s where a portable SSD shines over a flash drive. Both types of drives use NAND technology, but other than that there are big differences.

Lexar’s portable SSD is capable of sequential transfer speeds up to 450MB/s when reading and 245MB/s writing which is pretty nice for a portable storage solution that is as small and light as the D512. The is no official rating for random performance, but we’ll naturally have a look at that once we get the benchmarks rolling.

The tiny D512 provides plenty of space for you while you are on the go and travel about. Whether you want to take along you movie collect, music library, and photos, you’re covered with plenty of storage. It is also an optimal drive to unload all your vacation photos onto from memory cards and portable capture devices.

One of the unique things that come with the D512 is the capacity meter on the front. The first five LEDs act as such and will light up as the drive gets filled with data. This allows you an instant view on the drive fillage as soon as you plug it into your system. The second unique feature works in conjunction with Lexar’s other Workflow products. The new portable SSD uses the same form factor and connector which makes it compatible with the Workflow drive hubs. Just plug the drive in and you are good to go. I love the Workflow system so much and use it almost every day for my work here at eTeknix.

The drive is also highly compatible when it comes to volume setup as it supports both NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. On its own, the drive is fully plug-and-play and doesn’t require any drivers or tools of any sort. This naturally originates from USB standard that is plug-and-play by definition.

Lexar is part of the Micron Group which also means that the drive is equipped with some of the best NAND flash on the market and that has undergone high-grade quality checks before assembly.

Feature Highlights

  • SSD-level performance — up to 450MB/s read and 245MB/s write speeds
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Available in 256GB and 512GB capacity options
  • LED capacity meter displays available storage space
  • Great for use with Lexar Professional Workflow line products
  • Two-year limited warranty

Package and Accessories

Lexar packed the 512GB Portable SSD in a neat white box that shows the drive’s look and basic specifications on the top.

The bottom of the box also has the system requirements, which is a USB port, as well as the basic specification again, but in several languages.

Inside the box, you will find the portable SSD itself as well as a USB 3.0 cable.

Both sides of the drive are covered with a protective plastic film to make sure it arrives scratch-free in your hands. It also gives you that little bit of joy it is to remove the film from your brand new device.

Cooler Master Masterkeys Pro S Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Cooler Master are one of the biggest and best in the industry, not only for their high-end chassis such as the Master Case Pro 5, but also their power supplies, coolers and most importantly today, their peripherals. Dropping the CM Storm branding, their latest keyboard, the Masterkeys Pro S TKL, falls in line with their “maker” series of products. Last year so very little new products from CM and we knew they were cooking up something big. They came back after a long period of silence with a completely redesigned and focused product line, and their “make it yours” philosophy.

All the new products we’ve seen from Cooler Master have been beyond impressive, so I’m really eager to see what their new premium-grade mechanical keyboard has to offer. There are two models available, the full-size MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL MasterKeys Pro S, which is the one we have in the eTeknix office today.

“Get the best of both worlds with the MasterKeys Pro L and Pro S: the brightest LEDs and the best tactile feeling that gamers have come to love. We completely redesigned the interior to fit both Cherry MX switches and big, fat, LEDs that can radiate 16.7 million colors. You also get on-the-fly macros, profile support, and easy-to-use software – all in a sleek, minimalistic design.” – Cooler Master

The new keyboards come with all the premium features you would expect, such as customisable RGB lighting, Cherry MX switches, macro support, anti-ghosting and N-key rollover and more. Most importantly, at least in terms of the RGB lighting, is that cooler master customised the PCB, allowing for larger and brighter LEDs, without compromising on the use of Cherry MX switches.

• Brilliant RGB lighting with 16.7 million colors

• Exclusive Cooler Master design makes each LED pop out and shine

• Multiple lighting modes

• Change and customize colors with or without software

• Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and responsive effects

• Cherry MX switches

• Guaranteed to endure at least 50 million keystrokes

• On-the-fly macro and profile support

• On-board processor and profile keys let you save macros and backlighting settings without hassle

• 100% anti-ghosting with N-key rollover

• Ensure each keypress is correctly detected regardless how many other keys are being pressed

• Detachable cable

• Cables won’t get in your way or clutter your desktop

• Hidden underside positioning grooves gives you 180° cable management (only for Pro L)

The packaging is very nicely designed, showing off the RGB lighting in all its glory, as well as touting the use of Cherry MX switches.

Around the back, a little breakdown of the build, showing the PCB, switches, casing and key caps.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started. This includes a high-quality micro-USB braided cable, which fully detachable from the keyboard, a key cap removal tool and a nice and colourful user’s guide.

Apple Looking at OLED Screens For 2017

Every year we are bombarded with new phones, featuring upgraded parts or new features, they come and go as quickly as the seasons. For several years, Apple has been releasing their iPhones, a series of phones that have received just a bad reputation for being just that, a series of phones that seem very similar to the last. That could change in 2017 with Apple looking at OLED screens for their next generation of iPhones.

Apple is known for their high-end machines, offering quality at a price. Many say the same about their iPhones, with quality coming at a price some consider too high to pay. With a faster processor and 3D touch technology, many were convinced that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were a symbol of Apple’s “repeating” business model, with little changing from phone to phone.

Switching from LCD to OLED would be a big step for Apple. OLED offer thinner, lighter and more flexible screens, which when combined with their high energy efficiency would mean that Apple’s screens would feel better, combined with their more vivid colours would present a whole new generation of viewing for the iPhone.

While the rumours that Apple could introduce OLED screens in 2017, many are sceptical about this time line and think that you may have to wait till 2019 before you see an iPhone with an OLED screen. With companies like Samsung already using OLED technology, waiting several years before introducing it to your iPhone may do nothing more than hinder already dwindling iPhone sales.

Phanteks Reveal RGB LED Motherboard to Chassis Adaptor

Does it bother you that your new RGB equipped motherboard is flashing on colour, but your chassis is showing something completely different? Then worry no more, as the latest accessory from Phanteks looks to solve all your colour synchronisation problems with one simple addition; the Phanteks RGB LED Adapter (PC-CB_RGB4P).

“With the current trend of motherboard’s customizable RGB LED lighting control, Phanteks today announced the Phanteks’ RGB LED Adapter for compatible motherboards that features RGB headers.” – Phanteks

Their new RGB LED adapter is a pretty simple solution to the problem, as it’s really just a cable that links the chassis lighting to that of your motherboards. The RGB adapter is compatible with the Aura (certified by Asus) series of boards, but will also work with any other RGB motherboard that includes a 4-PIN RGB header in the 12v GRB format. Simply attach this cable to the header, hook it into the compatible Phanteks chassis lighting and all your RGB delights from your motherboard will extend through the chassis lighting, helping you create a more unified effect. This also means that you’ll be able to control your chassis lighting from within your motherboards customization software.

The RGB LED Adapter is currently compatible with  the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe, Mini XL and P400. Of course, it’s expected that more models will be supported in the near future as and when they launch.

To make the deal even sweeter, you can get a free RGB LED Adapter if you purchase a compatible Phanteks chassis and motherboards that feature the RGB header before March 1st. Don’t worry though, as with prices of just 2.90EUR / £2, it’s not going to be expensive to pick one up yourself.

Do you have an RGB equipped motherboard in your chassis and do you like the idea of synchronizing the lighting between this and your chassis? Let us know in the comments section below.

Apacer Unveils BLADE FIRE DDR4 Memory Kits With Pulsing LEDs

Intel’s latest LGA1151 chipset has brought DDR4 memory into the mainstream market and is no longer exclusive to the expensive X99 platform. This means, it’s possible to acquire extremely fast and large capacity kits at a very reasonable price point. As a result, DDR3 memory is slowly being phased out but this is obviously going to take some time until consumers make the switch and upgrade their hardware. In the last couple of years, memory companies have created a number of ostentatious designs to compliment a system’s colour scheme. This can involve pulsating LEDs, unusual heatspreaders and more! The first company to really open my eyes to this new design philosophy is Avexir with the gorgeous Sabranco DIMMs featuring a white PCB.

Today, another leading memory company, Apacer, unveiled their latest DDR4 series which utilizes a striking design. The BLADE FIRE DDR4 kits sport a heartbeat LED pulsing at 44 beats per minute. Additionally, clock speeds will go up to 32GB 3200MHz with a low voltage rating of 1.35V and timings of 16-16-18-38. I’m quite fond of the memory’s style and it should fit perfectly alongside a wide range of custom builds. Sadly, there’s no information yet regarding the pricing or availability. Although, I’m presuming this should be revealed extremely soon.

Hopefully, we should be able to receive a sample and analyse the memory’s overclocking prowess! As with any DDR4 kit, consumers tend to fixate on either memory speed or just choose a kit which suits their personal taste. The BLADE FIRE is certainly one of the nicest designs I’ve seen and I’m sure it looks even better in person. It’s also great to see a black PCB as it contrasts so well with the black heatspreaders.

While some users prefer a more subtle styling, other consumers really enjoy extravagant designs which act as a talking point.

ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals Review – A Full Gaming Setup for Under £100!

Introduction


Picking the right gaming peripherals can be a tricky endeavour as there is a huge range of products from an equally large selection of gaming brands out there to choose from. Asus are one of the most established and recognisable gaming brands on the market today, and while they may be better known for their high-end graphics cards and motherboards, they’ve proven time and time again that they can make some great gaming peripherals too.

Today we’ll be taking a look at their Cerberus range, a budget friendly but feature packed range of peripherals that are sure to appeal to a wide range of PC gamers. We’ve got a mouse, a headset and a keyboard here today and what’s great about these devices is that all of them can be picked up for a total under £100, making them an attractive option for those on a tighter budget, with the added peace of mind of them being from a well-established brand name.

As you can see below, we’ve got a well-equipped membrane keyboard, with macro keys, LED lighting and more. As well as an optical mouse, which features an ambidextrous design, adjustable DPI and LED lighting. Finally, a powerful gaming headset equipped with 60mm drivers, support for PC, Man and PS4 and a detachable microphone. All of which can be snapped up for a total of just £96.89 (prices from Overclockers UK).

Cerberus Keyboard – LED backlit USB gaming keyboard with splash-proof design

  • Full SECC metal plate – Rugged durability
  • Splash-proof design with drain hole – Protects against spilled liquids
  • 12 macro keys – Tactical flexibility
  • Fully rubberized feet – Enhanced friction for strong movements
  • Price – £39.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Mouse – Ambidextrous optical gaming mouse with four-stage DPI switch and convenient LED indicator

  • Agile DPI control – Four customizable DPI levels with an LED color indicator
  • Stylish ambidextrous design – Designed for both right and left-handed gamers
  • Improved rubber side grips – Reduces sweating and slipping
  • Price – £21.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Headset – Gaming headset with large 60mm neodymium drivers, designed for both PC gaming and mobile use.

  • Large 60mm neodymium-magnet drivers deliver unrivaled punch and ultimate immersion
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation® 4 and smart devices for gaming and mobile fun
  • Dual-microphone design: detachable boom mic for clear in-game communication and an in-line mic for on-the-go chat
  • Comfortable 100mm full-size cushions offer great noise isolation for undisturbed gaming and music enjoyment
  • Price – £34.99

For more information, check out the official product page here.

The packaging on each product is really nice, with a large window on the headset and the mouse, allowing a good look at the design of each, while the box for the keyboard has a big image of the keyboard and its LED lighting. There’s a few technical details around each box, but nothing we haven’t already covered above.

Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Headset Review

Introduction


Gaming headsets come and go with rapid succession in this industry, some great, many good and a lot that are fairly forgettable, but every now and then, something big happens. Today is one of those days at eTeknix HQ, as one of the most important headsets in recent years has landed on our desk and its expected to be something truly special. I am, of course, talking about the Logitech G933, following in the footsteps of the legendary G930, highly regarded as one of the best wireless headsets on the market, the G933 looks to make everything bigger and better than ever before.

“Patent pending advanced Pro-G audio drivers are made with hybrid mesh materials that provide the audiophile-like performance gaming fans have been demanding. From your favorite music to expansive game soundtracks, the Pro-G drivers deliver both clean and accurate highs as well as a deep rich bass that you would expect from premium headphones. Experience incredible 7.1 surround sound with Dolbyreg; or DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound,* creating lifelike in-game special awareness, allowing you to clearly hear enemies sneaking around or special ability cues.”

The Artemis is very well equipped, offering support for virtually any audio device, including games consoles and PC. Despite being wireless, it comes with a simple USB-powered transmitter that can be used to turn any wired audio jack into a wireless compatible device, and that’s something that simply cannot be ignored, as it opens up a huge range of devices for use with the Artemis. Add to that high-end 40mm drivers, a high-quality microphone, LED lighting, rechargeable wireless functionality, a fold away microphone, and more.

“G933 Artemis Spectrum works with PC, mobile, home theater devices, and game consoles, including PS4 and Xbox One. One headset for all your devices lets you take G933 Artemis Spectrum from your gaming rig to your gaming console and your mobile devices. You can even connect your home theater to the USB-powered wireless mix adapter and listen to TV shows, music, or movies wirelessly without disturbing the people in your home.”

For a quick look at some of the cool features on offer, check out the official product trailer from Logitech.

The packaging doesn’t give away much information on the front, but it does give you a great image of the headset and first impressions are that it looks pretty awesome!

Lots of technical details dotted around the back and the side of the box, most notable are the 16.8M RGB lighting, Dolby and DTS X support.

The headset is very nicely packaged with lots of protection to keep it safe in transit.

The headset out and you’ll find a simple visual guide to setting up the basic functions of the headset.

Finally, a collection of cables which include a 4-pole 3.5mm cable for use with mobile devices, which features a built-in in-line controller, an RCA passthrough cable and a USB to Micro-USB cable. Finally, we’ve got a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adaptor.

Enermax Introduces ETS-N30II Air CPU Cooler

Enermax released some impressive cooling solutions over the years and they’re back with one more before New Year’s and introduced the new ETS-N30II side-flow CPU cooler. The new ETS-N30II is the second generation and where the previous model already scored great reviews and rewards around the web, the new one puts one on top with even better efficiency.

Enermax designed the ETS-N30II for use in small and compact systems and it is only 137.2mm high. The tiny CPU cooler comes with perfect RAM compatibility thanks to the asymmetrical heat-pipe design that shifts the whole thing a little to one side. Enermax opted for a 90mm RPM fan and despite the somewhat limited size of everything, the ETS-N30II still comes with a TDP support up to 150W. The three heat-pipes are 6mm thick and the cooler utilizes direct heat-pipe touch for the best cooling abilities.

Enermax applied several of their own patented technologies to bring you the best cooling performance in a compact size. The Vortex Generator Flow is generated by spoilers on the fins that lead the air to the back of the heat pipes too, instead of just hitting the front of them as on most coolers. It also features a closed air path in order to optimize the airflow. It prevents air flow from escaping to the sides before it reaches the entire heatsink.

This second generation ETS-N30 has a 3-degree improvement over the predecessor and it can keep your CPU 22 degrees colder than the stock cooler can do. Enermax also chose to include a fan RPM reduction adapter for those who don’t need as much cooling capability and rather would like a 25% reduction in the noise generation by reducing the speed from 800-2800RPM to 600-1800RPM.

Besides the basic model with a black fan, you’re also able to get the ETS-N30II with Enermax’s Twister Bearing LED fan that has a 160K hours MTBF and zero friction noise. The 12 blue LEDs can give a cool visual bonus to the overall system.

Enermax did not reveal pricing or availability at this time, but pricing should be very similar to the previous ETS-N30 model and availability should be very soon.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


We’re back again with our latest Logitech review, and following on from the stunning Logitech G502 Proteus Core gaming mouse, we now have the G910 Orion Spark, the big brother of the also recently reviewed Logitech Atlas Spectrum G410 TKL Keyboard. The G410 was certainly unique, offering a lot of cool features that put it on a lot of people’s wish list. The G910 keeps pretty much every feature we loved about the G410, but it’s bigger and better, with even more cool features and, of course, a full-size keyboard design with a number pad.

With the G410 review behind us, I’m expecting equal performance from the G910 and hopefully even better performance courtesy of the added features. Equipped with the fantastic Romer-G mechanical switches, which are exclusive to Logitech, the Orion Spark is finely tuned for competitive gaming. Romer-G have a shorter actuation than most mechanical keys, meaning response times are lower and you can use less effort to deploy rapid commands.

“Exclusive new Romer-G mechanical switches with up 25 percent faster actuation for an edge in matches where every millisecond matters. Improved durability allows Romer-G switches to weather the wear and tear of intense gaming for years to come.”

The keyboard is also compatible with the cool ARX Control system, a mobile app that allows you to track stats of your gaming, system and more. Even better, the keyboard has a built-in phone dock to help keep that information at your fingertips.

Equipped with LED RGB 16.8 million colours lighting, you can tune every single key on a per-key basis, allowing for endless combinations that make it great to zone out your favourite gaming profiles, or just give it some cool visual flair.

Clocking in at just 1.5KG the G910 is fairly lightweight, especially given that it’s quite large, so best measure your available desk space if you’re rocking a smaller desk.

The packaging is really nicely designed, showing off the RGB lighting effects, as well as some details of the exclusive Romer-G switches.

Around the back, a little more detail on the same, so perhaps it’s best we just open the box and take a closer look ourselves.

Take the slip cover off the box, there’s a very durable inner box with a cool G logo cut into it; doesn’t make the keyboard any better, but I thought it looked cool.

NZXT HUE+ Advanced PC Illumination Kit Review

Introduction


Tired of not having enough customisation when it comes to your chassis’ lighting sceme? Sure you can buy a few LED strips, but they’re often fixed with a single colour and changing them can be as complex as buying a whole new kit and re-installing it all, just to go from blue to red. The same goes for LED fans, they’re often single colour, many can’t be turned on or off and their colours are fixed. NZXT have the solution with their HUE+ RGB lighting kit, as it gives you control over each lighting strip/zone within your system right from your desktop, allowing you to endlessly customise it as often as you like and with minimal effort!

“HUE+ lets you light up your system like never before. It is a digitally controlled lighting solution that combines intuitive software and versatile routing options to give you unprecedented PC illumination possibilities.”

The new HUE+ uses the latest  NZXT CAM software, which comes equipped with 8-preset effects, as well as extensive customisation options to create your own. There are two channels on the lighting engine, each capable of supporting four LED strips, which can be configured to run separate effects; you get four LED strips included in the box.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ittFz72CnA

The packaging is nicely designed, showing how the HUE+ can display full RGB lighting to the interior of your system.

Around the back, there’s a quick rundown of some of the features you’ll find in the CUE software; it all looks pretty straightforward, so let’s take a closer look.

There’s a nicely detailed user manual included, which folds out and has lots of large pictures to help explain each step of the installation. It’s certainly worth reading too, as you wouldn’t want to wire all the lights in backwards and them not operate properly, if at all.

In the box, you’ll find four RGB lighting strips with modular connectors on each end.

While the strips do have 3M adhesive on the back, you can also take advantage of the four strong magnets that are placed on each strip, allowing you to quickly snap the strips into place, but also quickly remove or move them as needed; so long as your case is metal of course, 3M is needed for plastic panels.

All the cables you’re likely to need are included, such as extensions for linking together multiple light strips, a Molex to DC jack for the controller, USB motherboard header to MicroUSB for the CUE software and HUE+ to communicate with each other, and some cable ties to keep it neat and tidy.

The actual controller is quite compact, fitting into a 2.5″ hard drive form factor, albeit a little taller. There’s an angular top to give it a bit of style, with a strip of lighting in the top; even if it is on show inside your system, it should still look great.

Around the back, there are four ports, DC 5V, USB and two lighting channels. It’s all pretty self-explanatory and setup should be nice and easy.

The 2.5″ form factor is no accident either, as you’ll find four screw holes on the base to mount it to a hard drive bracket. This is handy for NZXT chassis such as the H440, which has an on-show 2.5″ mount below the motherboard.

Setting up the HUE+ is pretty easy overall, there are only four ports on the back and it’s pretty obvious where all the required cables go. The power cable and USB cable are essential to the operation of the device, but it’s up to you how you use the light strips. You can use any number of the four LED strips included, and with two channels you can set up to four strips to each one; to keep things nice and simple, I’ll be using two LED strips per channel.

CM Storm Xornet II RGB Optical Gaming Mouse

Introduction


Picking the right mouse can make or break your gaming experience. I’m a strong believer that a really great mouse won’t really make you a better gamer, at least not right away, but it can enhance your experience greatly. From having the right ergonomics to leave your hand feeling comfortable, even after a full days work and a late night of gaming, is certainly something you should be looking for in a mouse. Having a smooth and accurate sensor, so you don’t screw up those edits in Photoshop, or miss those headshots in your favourite game, that’s also pretty important. The latest mouse from CM Storm, the Xornet II, promises to great ergonomics, a great sensor and so much more.

“The Xornet II is built from the ground up for gamers who choose to battle it out using a claw grip style. Renowned as the best gaming mouse design for claw grip, every inch of this mouse has been crafted to prevent cramping and provide maximum comfort. Powered by an improved optical sensor, on-the-fly DPI settings, full 16.8 million color illumination, and lift of distance tuning and calibration, the Xornet II stands out among the competition as a comfortable, accurate and affordable weapon to add to your arsenal.”

The new design and upgrade hardware certainly sound promising, and several great mice, such as the Alcor and the Mizar already to their name, I’m eager to see what this mouse can do.

“The Xornet II uses an Avago 3320 optical sensor which is nearly flawless for control and speed, meaning your enemies stay in your crosshairs. And that’s not all. You’ll be prepared for any situation thanks to 3 preset DPI controls (500 – 3500) that can be changed on-the-fly. Go from performing surgery with a shotgun (500 DPI) to lightning fast reaction time shots (3500 DPI). Or open up our new easy-to-use software to find the perfect DPI setting to match your playstyle. An RGB LED in the scroll wheel quickly lets you know your current DPI setting.”

The features are sounding promising, with a good quality Avago 3320 Optical sensor, customisable three setting DPI, RGB lighting and more.

The packing has a nice image of the Xornet II on the front, as well as detailing the optical sensor, lighting and claw-grip design.

Around the back, we’ve got the main specifications, but of course, we’ll take a much closer look at these features in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find a user manual, as well as a hard-wired Xornet II mouse.

LED Powered Metal Dice Might Be the Coolest Dice So Far

Dice games will never go out of fashion because there are unlimited choices and something for every kind of person with every kind of taste, but ordinary dice are a little bit boring. A new Kickstart campaign has launched to spice the area up with LED powered metal dice called Luma Dice. The Kickstarter campaign is already far beyond its funding goal and also reached the first two stretch goals, and there are still 43 more days left on the campaign.

The Luma  dice come in a standard 19mm size with chamfer corners for more momentum and 21 RGB LEDs each. The dice are built with an accelerometer that helps to conserve energy by only powering the LEDs when it is rolled and a 20 second period after. The batteries are replaceable and the standard over-the-counter SR54 batteries are easy to come by.

The Luma dice are built with a flexible circuit board with the components equally distributed for an even and perfect roll. All the LEDS are placed directly on the circuit board and there are a total of 21, and each side has its own colour.

The dice are made from highest quality aluminium and carved from a solid block for strong reliability. The early-bird deals are long gone, but you can still secure yourself some of these nerdilicious dice starting from $29 for a pair of Luma Dice.

At the time of writing, the campaign has reached $55.803, over three times the goal of $15,000. There are two more stretch goals available and I’m pretty sure the 80K goal will be reached before the campaign is over. That stretch goal hasn’t been revealed yet, but there is the last one that is set for 120K. The 120k goal will unlock D20 Luma Dice and that is where it gets really interesting. Be the coolest roller among your friends with Luma.

TteSports Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


RGB keyboards are all the rage right now, with every major manufacturer churning out updated and new models of their hardware with fancy new colour customisation features. TteSports aren’t the first or the last to join this race, and the extremely popular Poseidon series now features RGB Kailh mechanical switches, giving us the Poseidon Z RGB. The keyboard comes in a choice of Blue and Brown switches, giving you a nice selection between tactile and acoustic response.

RGB lighting is one thing, but without customisation it isn’t much fun. You’ll find a range of presets on offer that will allow you to adapt the colour scheme to your liking.

“The POSEIDON Z RGB Gaming Keyboard – A simple yet astonishing spectrum keyboard; it offers extreme customization options for users to play with, energizing you with the colors to take gaming style to the next level with experiencing the colorful of life. With the layering and colorbar concepts, our basic customizable backlighting has been evolved for extreme customization. It gives a spectrum of visual effects featuring 16.8 million colors and provided users the easiest way to tune and most importantly, it colors up your life!”

Check out the video below for a quick look at the features on offer from the Poseidon Z RGB.

On-the-fly macro recording, 100% anti-ghosting, 104 Key rollover, on-board memory and so much more, this should be an interesting keyboard, so let’s get cracking and take a closer look.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a clear image of the keyboard on the front, as well as the switch type; Kailh Blue.

Around the back, a more detailed rundown of the features, as well as that oh-so-important TteSports certified sticker. This means that the keyboards switches are guaranteed for five years! That’s pretty incredible and should give customers some confidence in the build quality.

Aside from the keyboard, there’s not a whole lot in the box, just the warranty policy and the quick installation guide.

The keyboard comes hard-wired with a fairly standard USB cable, nothing fancy, but nothing bad either.

Corsair Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Corsair Gaming has been on a major winning streak recently, with the amazing Corsair Void series of headsets being some of the best we’ve ever tested, followed by the incredible Corsair Strafe RGB Cherry MX Silent, which is an incredible keyboard and also one of the quietest mechanical keyboards on the market. So, no stranger to innovation with their latest products, Corsair Gaming are now introducing the Scimitar RGB Optical MOBA and MMO gaming mouse, and it’s pretty special.

“The Scimitar RGB gaming mouse revolutionizes game play with its Key Slider control system, 12 mechanical side buttons, and pro-proven 12,000 DPI optical sensor. It’s purpose built to deliver the ultimate MOBA and MMO gaming experience.”

Equipped with a movable side panel that features 12 mechanical and fully programmable buttons, the Scimitar is a real deadly weapon for competitive gaming. With a level of customisation that I’ve never soon on a mouse in this class before, so it’s certainly something I’m eager to put through its paces.

The core body of the mouse has been designed to not exceed 135g, although it reads a little higher when you weigh the cable. This weight was set as a favourite by many pro gamers for a nice balance between speed and control. Check out the preview video below as Warren and Jason from Corsair Gaming walk us through a few of the unique features of the Scimitar.

Equipped with a 12000dpi optical sensor, RGB lighting, a whopping 17 programmable buttons and so much more, the Scimitar is sounding pretty amazing, so let’s get in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

The packaging is typical of the Corsair Gaming range, with a clear image of the mouse, as well as a quick run down of the main features.

Around the back, we’ve got a little quote from professional WoW player, Jackson “Bajheera” Bliton.

The box opens up, giving us a little more information on the Key Slider, but we’ll take a closer look at that ourselves in a moment.

NZXT Unleashes The Hue+ PC Lighting Solution

Custom PC builds are becoming more popular as consumers construct their own rigs and create a visual showpiece. Various cases like the H440 incorporate a side panel window to display the beauty of a clean, professional looking system. The first NZXT Hue offered RGB lighting via a huge LED strip and front panel for controls.

It became a suitable choice for system builders due to the competitive price, reliable LED strips and clean cabling. Furthermore, the 2-year warranty added peace-of-mind as cheaper LED strips are prone to having dead LEDs. NZXT has just announced the Hue+ which is a digital lighting solution and offers unprecedented customization and 8 preset lighting effects.

Johnny Hou, NZXT’s founder and CEO discussed the product announcement and proclaimed:

“Lighting can truly bring your system to a new visual dimension, that’s why most of our cases provide windowed-panels. With a smart, easy-to use digital interface such as CAM, available for everyone as a free app, HUE+ offers unmatched control and customization for users seeking to bring their PC to the next level,”

Using the Hue+’s CAM software, you can adjust a wide array of attributes including colour, speed and lighting transitions. Additionally, the lighting can respond to system temperatures and even react to the audio output during music or an intense game. This huge selection of modes on the Hue+ provides the end-user with an unbelievable array of options.

The Hue+ is available to pre-order now from participating retailers and has a recommended retail price of £39.99 + VAT.

Avexir S100 SSD Is the World’s First LED SSD

LED lighting is an important factor to many builders and PC modders, but one thing had been missing that function up until now and that were the storage drives. At least that is what Avexir things and they have now launched an Indiegogo campaign to bring just that to the market: A solid state drive with built-in LED lighting to match your overall setup.

Avexir was first to bring LED lights to memory modules and their plasma effect modules have become very popular. Now they are also the first to bring LED lights to the storage drives and illuminate them the way they deserve. After all, they are crucial components of your system.

The Avexir S100 SSD, as it is called, will be available with several colour options to match your setup: White, Red, Blue, Green, and Orange. The Indiegogo campaign offers the solid state drives in combination with an 8GB set of Core DDR4 memory modules in the same colour as the SSD you pledge on. The 120GB package will set you back $135, the 240GB $190, and the 480GB model will cost you $299.

Avexir didn’t reveal the exact type of SSD controller they’re using on this drive nor what type of NAND, but they did reveal that it will use a JMicron controller and “cutting-edge original NAND Flash”. Without further specifications, it might hold some people back from pledging. Most combinations available will reach great speeds these days, but there still are differences in feature sets and durability. It would have been nice to know, but at least Avexir revealed the expected performance figures: Sequential read/write speeds up to 540MB/s & 450MB/s with 80k IOPS random 4k write. These figures could point towards TLC NAND, which would be a letdown to some enthusiasts while it caters more to the mainstream. An odd choice, if true, for a drive like this.

Avexir is trying to raise a total of $50,000 for this campaign, a goal that they’ll very likely reach within the 30 days that is left on the campaign. Would you want one of these new LED SSDs? Let us know in the comments.

NEC Unveils the MultiSync E203Wi-BK

NEC Display Solutions of America has revealed its latest MultiSync monitor, the 20-inch E203Wi-BK widescreen LCD display with LED backlighting. The monitor, aimed at corporate and small-to-medium-sized businesses, features a high-performance AH-IPS panel with a wide viewing angle, plus rich colour consistency and image clarity, plus DisplayPort, VGA and DVI-D connections, and a fully articulated ergonomic stand.

“Businesses, regardless of size, are looking for high-performance monitors that save them money,” Kevin Christopherson, Director of Product Marketing for Desktop Displays at NEC, said. “The E203Wi display delivers an outstanding set of features, is environmentally friendly and comes at an affordable price.”

The E203Wi-BK display boasts the following features:

  • 20-inch, 16:9, LED-backlit LCD wide-screen panel
  • Fully ergonomic stand with height, pivot, tilt and swivel adjustability
  • 1600 x 900 native resolution
  • DisplayPort, VGA and DVI-D connectivity
  • Compatibility with NEC’s NaViSet Administrator asset management system
  • Intelligent Power Manager (IPM), off timer and ambient light sensor that automatically dims the screen to further reduce energy consumption
  • ENERGY STAR 6.0 compliance
  • ECO Mode and carbon footprint meter

The NEC MultiSync E203Wi-BK launches later this month, priced at around $179, and comes with a three-year parts and labour warranty, which includes the screen’s backlight. More information can be found by visiting the E203Wi-BK’s product page.

LIVALL Bling Is the First Smart Cycling Helmet

It is almost weird that this hasn’t been done before. While there have been attempts, no one has come close to what the new LIVALL Bling smart cycling helmet can do. It is the first smart helmet, but it is also a lot more. When you look at what you get, you’ll quickly notice why it already has been funded close to six times.

The campaign is running on Indiegogo where the goal was set to $20,000. At the time of writing, the campaign already raised $115.672 by 788 people, nearly six times the asked amount. Not only is it a great product with a very fair pricing, it’s also a product that is ready, all the way through. All that is needed now is the start-up money to get a mass production running.

So what is it that makes the LIVALL Bling helmet so smart. It comes with bright LEDs all over the top that make you stand out in traffic, both at day and night. You are the weak contender on the road and need the best safety. It has turn-signals, a 3-axis G-sensor, and Bluetooth connection for speakers and smartphone connection as well as a windbreak microphone. You can answer your phone or listen to music over this feature, and you can also use the built-in walkie-talkie function for a direct communication with your fellow riders that also use the helmet. The 3-axis G-sensor can detect when you’ve crashed and don’t get up again. It will start to flash the LEDs to signal passing folks of your presence as well as notify a previous set contact about your crash.

There are two more items, possibly three, that you’ll want to go along with your new smart cycling helmet. The first is the Bling Jet, a small controller meant to be mounted on the handlebar for easy finger control of everything.

The second is the LIVALL Nano Cadence Sensor, the smallest cadence sensor in the world. When coupled with the LIVALL Riding App on your smartphone, it can show speed, traveled distance and burned calories as well as slope rate, altitude, and heart rate when you connect designated extension devices to your phone. The third item you might want is the phone holder. It mounts easily on your handlebar just as the Jet does and can securely hold your phone while you ride. It also comes with a convenient 5000mAh battery pack for on-the-go charging or longer rides.

The LIVALL Riding App is where it all connects and allows you to control and manage everything. It looks like an awesome product that I have no doubt will get just as popular once launched to the masses as it was in the Indiegogo campaign. There are still 32 days to go, so time left to get your own LIVALL Bling helmet. All available packs, including the $100 early bird, are still available.

Evo Labs Tri-Colour LED Multimedia Keyboard Review

Introduction


Buying a high-end gaming keyboard is great fun, but for many of us, it’s a luxury rather than an essential purchase. Money is obviously a factor for a lot of people and splashing out £50+ or even £100+ on a keyboard is simply not an option. So how far does your money go at the budget end of the market? The latest keyboard from Evo Labs; the Tri-Colour LED Multimedia Keyboard, comes in at around £15 from most retailers, which is without a doubt, budget friendly.

The keyboard isn’t devoid of features either, offering a range of multimedia keys and shortcuts, as well as a three colour LED backlight, so it’s still going to look pretty decent on your desk and offer some level of usability beyond the standard keys. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.

As you can see, the packaging is pretty straight forward. There’s a nice image of the keyboard on the front, as well as badges to show support for Windows and Linux, as well as the tri-colour LED lighting (blue, red and green).

The keyboard comes hard wired, with a fairly standard USB cable, not that you really need much else or could expect much more at this price range. The chassis of the keyboard looks nice enough, with a slightly oversized frame giving it an aggressive “gaming” vibe.

Across the top, you’ll find two banks of keys. On the left, you’ll find a few shortcut keys for basic desktop functions such as home, search and bookmark.

On the top right, a full range of multimedia keys, these are great for controlling your music while you’re working or gaming.

The key caps feel a little “cheap”, but that’s because they are, so hardly a shocking revelation there. The keys have a slight texture to them and the light weight plastics do have one plus side in that the key action feels quite light and fast.

The keys are slightly recessed into the chassis and that helps give the keyboard a slightly sleeker look overall.

A fairly standard number pad, pretty much like any other full-size keyboard really.

The profile is quite low, but you can raise it using the feet at the back. The thin body of the keyboard means that it’s very lightweight, so it’s pretty easy to transport, but also subject to breaking a little more easily than some other keyboards on the market.

Around the back, you can see the hard-wired cable, but there’s not really much else to see here.

The bottom of the keyboard has two large cut-outs, likely in a bid to help reduce materials and cost; this makes no difference to the performance though.

Two fairly standard flip up feet, I’ve seen better and I’ve certainly seen worse, even on more expensive models.

Corsair Gaming STRAFE Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


The latest Corsair mechanical gaming keyboard is here at last! The Corsair Gaming STRAFE is their first new keyboard brand in years, although given the success of their K-series keyboards, as well as the RGB editions that followed, it’s easy to understand why Corsair haven’t been rushing to release a replacement.

This keyboard is designed for gaming, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t promise to offer a lot to day-to-day desktop users. Mechanical keys offer premium build quality that should last many years without the keys response fading, as you often find with membrane keyboards. We’ve got the MX Red edition of the STRAFE in the office today, so those fast keys should be quick and super responsive, which will be great for typing, such as the review I’m using it for right now, or for gaming, especially if you play frantic games such as DOTA II.

The STRAFE doesn’t bring a lot of new technology to the table, but it does pack some promising specifications that should satisfy the needs of any keen PC user. We’ve got super quick Cherry MX Red, Blue or Brown mechanical switches, per-key red LED programmable lighting, onboard memory, Cue-Software customisation and more; that’s certainly all the basics covered!

Here is quick video from Corsair to discuss some of the features of the STRAFE and there’s also a nice section that shows off the LED lighting features of the keyboard. Now, let’s jump right to it and take a closer look at what this keyboard has to offer.

The packaging features the new Corsair Gaming branding, that’s right, no more “tramp stamp”. We now have the faster-looking version of the old Corsair ships logo and it looks great!

All the major features are detailed on the box, perfect for those picking one up at retail who want to know a little more. The packaging looks pretty fancy, usually a good first impression that you’ve got a premium product in your hands.

MSI X99A GODLIKE Gaming (LGA 2011-3) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


X99, the chipset that has brought workstation power to the consumer level, has been around with us for almost a whole year now. In this time, motherboard manufacturers have had time to tweak and release their top of the line motherboards with the best features and settings. Recently out of the gates is MSI with the brand new GODLIKE Gaming motherboard. This motherboard is nothing to be sniffed at, we originally saw the board at Computex 2015 and everyone went nuts over it. The lashings of vibrant red metal covers, super bright LED’s and a specification list to make any competitor cry.

MSI has really cemented its name in the enthusiast market with the use of Military Class components and producing amazing product lines like the Twin Frozr graphics card designs and the relatively new Gaming motherboard ranges. MSI knows how to make good products, so it has put all of their technical knowledge from the years of experience into a single motherboard; the GODLIKE Gaming. Some may interpret the GODLIKE wrong, in the fact that it could be the best motherboard in the world; however, this is designed to give gamers an ‘out of this world experience’.

The board itself is feature packed, with two Gigabit LAN ports and twin antenna WiFi which can work together to produce up to 2867Mb/s transfer speeds; although that is maximum rated speeds for each port, so you will likely see lower. Along with those, this motherboard features something rather unique in the sound department in the form of a 6.3mm audio jack, designed for premium performance, but don’t worry, this board still features the usual HD audio jacks and a 6.3mm – 3.5mm adapter. USB-C is standard along with a USB 3.1 Type-A connector for maximum USB performance. The Ace up the sleeve is the LED system that has almost unlimited colour combinations and features. This board seriously has enough features to boggle even the most advanced user, so that’s enough writing, let’s jump into what you’ve come to see, pictures and benchmarks.

Key Features

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, MSI is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.

  • Audio Boost PRO 3
  • Military Class 4
  • OC Genie 4
  • CLICK BIOS 4
  • NVIDIA Sli
  • AMD Crossfire
  • Easy Button 3
  • V-Check Points
  • Clear CMOS Button
  • Total Fan Control
  • Gaming Device Port
  • Super Charger
  • Smart Utilities
  • Killer DoubleShot-X3 PRO
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Command Center
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • MYSTIC Light

For more information on these functions, please visit the MSI X99A GODLIKE Gaming product page.

Packaging and Accessories

The box comes in two parts, an outer sleeve and inner protective box. The outer sleeve has all of the information on, however, the front is rather plain with just the logo and model on.

Inside the box is a huge amount of accessories; consisting of manuals, driver disk, poster, 10x SATA cables, 4x SlI ribbons, 2x WiFi antenna’s, case badge, USB-C/Micro-SD flash drive, I/O shield, front panel button risers, 6.3mm – 3.5mm headphone jack adapter, multiple voltage risers for the onboard voltage monitor and a NVMe – M.2 adapter for NVMe SSD drives….phew.

 

 

Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Tesoro are back on eTeknix once again! While we looked at their gorgeous new Lobera Spectrum recently, today we take a look at something a little further up the range, the new Excalibur Spectrum. RGB keyboards are all the rage recently, they’re often still the same keyboard they were last year in terms of performance and features, with the new addition of some funky lighting effects; no bad thing for those who love to customise their setup.

As you can see from the spec, the Excalibur is a fairly standard size keyboard, it features multiple profiles, built-in memory, RGB lighting and more.

“Tesoro Excalibur is a mechanical keyboard with an advanced backlighting processor. Unlike the original Excalibur which is capable of recording and storing macros, Spectrum also has a number of stunning illumination modes. Using this keyboard is a lot of colorful fun. Excalibur is the first Tesoro keyboard to have a classic solid look. It can be used with a gaming rig as well as on an office desk due to its straight and strong lines. The supreme spectrum backlighting, however, adds more color to our guy. Each key’s color can be set individually, the illumination will react to keystrokes, change colors in different ways, and do other crazy things.”

The packaging for the Excalibur Spectrum is simple enough, giving us a nice and colourful image of the keyboard on the front of the box.

The Excalibur comes hard-wired and you’ll be happy to hear it features a durable braided cable with a gold-plated connector.

The general design of the keyboard is nothing revolutionary. We’ve got a fairly standard chassis size, black plastic trim and a standard key layout.

The key caps look nice and smart, with a custom laser etched font to allow for the built-in lighting effects.

Here you can see we have the Kailh Red switches; it is also available in blue and brown switch.

A full-size number pad, nothing particularly interesting, but it’s all there.

The Excalibur can be switched from 6-key to n-key rollover directly from the keyboards using Fn-Shift + Ins and Del keys

The arrow keys also double up as lighting controls, allowing you to tweak things such as brightness and contrast.

There’s five built-in profiles on the keyboard, which are great for storing lighting effects.

Windows lock, as well as master volume controls.

Plus a basic set of multimedia controls; perfect for flicking through some music while you’re working or gaming.

As I said before, the keyboard is hard-wired with a thick braided cable. The cable is mounted off-center, which should help reduce conflicts with your monitor stand.

The underside of the keyboard is relatively featureless, aside from four rubber grips that will help prevent it from sliding around your desk.

There are two kickstands on the base, although they’re pretty standard and that’s a real shame, as most mechanical keyboards has stronger ones with rubber grips of their own.

New LED Tech May Bring More Natural Light and Less Power Consumption in Just 5 Years

Have you switched to LED lighting solutions in your house to cut down on power consumption? If not, you may be doing in the near future. Scientists from the Niels Bohr Institute discovered a new way of making LEDs with the use of nanowires, bringing a more natural light and less power consumption than the LEDs we have on the market.

So what are these nanowires? They seem to be very small pieces of wire with sizes of about 2 micrometers in height and 10 to 500 nanometers in diameter. The researchers used a special nanoscale X-ray technique to test out the wires in Hamburg, Germany, without destroying them in the process. The result helped them find what type of nanowires they can use to make these future LEDs.

“We measured 20 nanowires and when we saw the images, we were very surprised because you could clearly see the details of each nanowire. You can see the structure of both the inner core and the outer layer. If there are defects in the structure or if they are slightly bent, they do not function as well. So we can identify exactly which nanowires are the best and have the most efficient core/shell structure,” explains Tomas Stankevic, a PhD student in the research group ‘Neutron and X-ray Scattering’ at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

This information is said to be useful in making the perfect adjustments for future nanowires. The scientists believe that future LEDs made out of the latter nanowires will bring more natural light and less power consumption, so we will be able to see better and more energy-efficient LED displays for smartphones, TVs and even light bulbs. Also, the scientists are so optimistic about this technique that they believe the new LED technology will be available on the market within five years.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of BrightLux

TteSports Ventus X Laser Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


TteSports are back on eTeknix once again, this time with their latest gaming mouse, the rather unique looking Ventus X. The Ventus is tuned for gaming performance and comes with a bunch of funky features that will help you dominate in the digital battlefield of choice, but we’ll get to taking a closer look at those in a few moments.

VENTUS X – Gaming Mouse – The new generation from Tt eSPORTS’s VENTUS gaming mouse, providing enhanced modern technology and classic design that fits all gamers and bring style to gaming. The new VENTUS X was designed with a new coating that gives full comfort while in gameplay. The VENTUS X also brings about a new ergonomically tuned right handed laser gaming mouse to the VENTUS family, that will appeal to gamers who’re fans of some classic legacy styled mouse shapes and brings the new tech to them.

The Ventus X comes equipped with all the features you would expect, such as a high-quality laser sensor, a good selection of switches, macro functions and more. It also benefits from customisable weight tuning and LED lighting effects.

The box covers all the basics, such as the 5700 DPI sensor, the new and improved surface coating, 128KB internal memory and the air cooling ventilation.

In the box, you’ll find a protective pouch, some documents and the Ventus X mouse.

The Ventus comes hard-wired with a high-quality braided cable and a custom USB jack with gold-plated connector.

The mouse has been given a new coating compared with previous models. The new one looks gorgeous, it’s basically something between a glossy and a matte finish, but its hard-wearing grip surface certainly looks and feel fantastic. To further enhance your grip, the left side of the mouse has a rubberized thumb rest, so there’s little chance of you losing your grip in the heat of battle.

There’s two switches down the left side of the mouse, pretty standard stuff, but they’re obviously pretty essential for most games and day-to-day desktop navigation.

There’s not extra switches on the right, but there’s another rubber grip on the swollen ergonomic side panel. The mouse looks a little wider than most, but it feels comfortable and nimble in both palm rest and finger-tip play-styles.

The left and right mouse buttons have a deep recess and a ridge on their outer edge. This shape helps your fingers find a comfortable resting position and should help prevent your fingers slipping from the mouse.

There’s a good quality scroll wheel recessed into the mouse, with a thick and soft rubber grip coating for added control. Behind the scroll wheel, there’s a DPI toggle switch; I’d have liked to see full DPI up/down buttons, but this is still a welcome feature.

One unique aspect of this mouse is the ventilated rear section. It’s not much, but it’ll allow a little extra airflow to the palm of your hand; a welcome feature for anyone who suffers from sweaty hands while gaming.

Hidden behind the ventilation is a Tt Dragon logo, which lights up when the mouse is plugged in.

There are three huge slipmats on the base of the mouse, giving it exceptional glide on your favourite gaming surface; be that a hard or soft mat.

Tucked away behind the flip-off panel, you’ll find 3 x 4.5g weights, allowing you to better calibrate the feel and the glide of the mouse to suit your preference.

The included carry pouch is great too, especially if you want to keep it free from scratches when you throw it in your bag to take to a LAN party.

TteSports Poseidon Z Forged Aluminium Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


TteSports are one of the most popular names in the PC peripheral business. Time and time again, they’ve proven that they can make incredibly competitive products, for competitive prices. Today they’re going all-out with their new Poseidon Z Forged, a premium grade product that promises a lot of cool features that will appeal to both at-home gamers and eSports gamers alike.

As you can see from the specifications below, the Poseidon Z is fully mechanical, comes with 64kb of on-board memory, ten dedicated macro keys and a whole lot more.

One thing that is very cool about this keyboard, it has a built-in onboard DAC amplifier, which operates via USB, giving you an extra way to power your favourite headset; perfect for gaming and way cooler than the usual audio passthrough ports that we often see on keyboards.

In the box, you’ll find a wrist rest, some manuals and a detachable cable. What’s important is that the wrist rest features a magnetic mounting design; no more of those pesky clips that love to break.

The cable is of a very high quality and features a tough braiding as well as gold plated connectors. It’s also a standard microUSB, so if the cable did fail, you could easily replace it with your own.

The immediate standout feature of this keyboard is the metal chassis, hence the “forged” moniker. This gives the keyboard unrelenting strength and the aluminium means that while the keyboard is still heavy, like many other mechanical keyboards, it’s not too unwieldy.

Along the top row of the keyboard, you’ll find extra function keys. Here you can see the multimedia controls.

Master audio controls.

Finally, profile, lighting and Windows-lock controls.

Down the left side, you’ll find five extra mechanical switches that can be configured via the software; great for launching programs or macros.

Then another five down the right-hand side, giving us ten extra keys in total.

One thing that you may have noticed already is that this keyboard has a blue back plate, giving a nice underglow effect, even with the lighting turned off.

Behind the key-caps, you’ll find blue Kailh switches, each fitted with a brightness adjustable blue LED.

The brightness can be toggled via the arrow keys in combination with the fn-shift, much in the same way as the multimedia controls on the F-keys.

The overall finish of this keyboard is premium grade from end to end. You can see how the aluminium top panel curves over the front and back of the keyboard, giving it a nice uniform appearance.

Around the back you’ll find a set of audio and USB ports.

The USB ports are great for hooking up your mouse or headset, but most importantly, those audio jacks are powered by an internal DAC, removing the need for an onboard sound-card to power your audio devices.

The underside of the keyboard has five tough rubber grips that will prevent the Poseidon Z from sliding around your desk. There’s also a few cable routing options, which will help keep your desktop neat and tidy.

The kickstands are super wide and extra strong; little chance of these breaking anytime soon!

When raised, the kickstands have wide rubber grips of their own, so the keyboard doesn’t lose any of its traction on your desk.

The microUSB connector is recessed into the base of the keyboard, helping keep that clear design as tidy as possible.

The wrist rest just pushes onto the front of the keyboard and can be pulled away just as easily. When you pick up the keyboard, the rest droops, but magnets hold it in place, to prevent it from falling. This will help prevent damage and it’s far better than the clips we often see on wrist rests, as they’re often prone to breaking very easily.

Tesoro Lobera Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Tesoro may not be the biggest gaming brand on the market, but they’ve proven time and time again that they can deliver competitive products, that are uniquely designed and for a competitive price; more than enough to get me interested! A few months back, I reviewed the gorgeous Tesoro Lobera Supreme mechanical keyboard, and it was fantastic, so I’m happy to see another Lobera keyboard sitting on my test bench this week.

The new version of the Lobera comes with one key feature, RGB lighting. Colour customisation is all the rage this year, with many manufacturers offering revisions and new models featuring RGB LED keys; the Lobera Spectrum RGB I have in the office today uses Kailh RGB Black Mechanical Switches. As you can see from the image below, it comes with a choice of red, black, blue and brown switches.

“Lobera Spectrum is a top-notch programmable gaming keyboard with advanced backlighting features. It has a number of stunning illumination modes including audiomode which makes the LEDs flash to the beat. Its highly customizable illumination processor even lets set individual key colors and turn the backlighting on and off for each key. Mechanical key design creates solid tactile feel and rapid response for extreme gamers. High speed USB 2.0 hub with audio jacks offers easy connection for user’s favourite portable peripherals. 5 profiles, up to 300 macro keys can be defined by the user. Tesoro Lobera Spectrum is the ultimate choice for gamers.”

In the box, you’ll find a small collection of documents in a cardboard wallet, as well as a USB power cable; this cable provides the rear-USB ports with additional power.

The keyboard is hard wired with a thick braided cable.

The cable is a little cumbersome, but that’s because it provides USB and audio pass-through to the back of the keyboard; handy for quickly connecting your headsets and peripherals without having to go behind your computer.

The chassis of the keyboard is a little oversized, giving you a built-in wrist rest and also giving the keyboard a funky industrial-type design.

The chassis is plastic, but it has been nicely textured to give it some added flair.

The key caps are of a good quality and feature bold laser-etched letting; perfect for letting all that RGB light through!

Under the keycaps, you can see we’ve got the Kailh Black switches, with the RGB LEDs. The chassis of the keyboard is white, which will help better reflect the lighting for a cool under-glow effect. Also, there was no key-cap pulling tool included in the box, fortunately I had my own, but all mechanical keyboard should come with on as standard in my opinion.

The 6-key and N-key rollover can be switched over directly from the keyboard using FN-Shift and either the Ins or Del keys.

A full-size number pad, fairly standard stuff, but you’ll be glad to hear that every key on the keyboard is mechanical.

The arrow keys feature LED lighting controls.

Built-in profiles allow you to toggle through lighting modes and more.

Windows lock, always a welcome feature on a gaming keyboard.

As well as basic multimedia controls, which are great for listening to music while gaming.

Down the left and right sides, there’s an LED light strip, allowing you to further customise the look of your keyboard.

Around the back, you can see the cable is mounted off to the right. This is better than central mountings, as that often causes the cable to conflict with your monitor stand.

A small warning label is pre-installed.

Behind which you’ll find the USB and audio pass-through ports.